Gospel Reflection for the 17th Sunday Ordinary Time Year A – July 27th 2014
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on our parish website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the field.
‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it.
‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea that brings in a haul of all kinds. When it is full, the fishermen haul it ashore; then, sitting down, they collect the good ones in a basket and throw away those that are no use. This is how it will be at the end of time: the angels will appear and separate the wicked from the just to throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.
‘Have you understood all this?’ They said, ‘Yes’. And he said to them, ‘Well then, every scribe who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out from his storeroom things both new and old’.
Jesus takes the ordinary for his story. Your treasure? What would you really want never to lose? What’s your treasure? Money, reputation, home…terrible. Some things have more relevance to life than others. ‘I gave up a better job but had time for the family and for love.’ Family – parents sell a lot – give up a lot for their children and to give them the best. Education an example. Or holidays.
We have different needs in life – food, shelter, education, meaning, love…..one does not replace the other, but we can live without some.
As people we look for what’s most important in life? The love of God; deep and enduring friendships. Success after hard work in school. These are the treasures, the pearls. These are what cannot be lost and are worth sacrificing others good things for.
Good and Bad
Then the other parable – things good and bad – old and new. The net – prawns and salmon and shrimps in the same net. Ever see them throwing back or throwing away the small fish? Not everything in the old Ireland or old church was bad – we need to find new ways of living, legislating, dealing with some awful situations, but knee jerk reactions to any situation lead to nowhere lasting.
The treasure is in our people. So much hidden generosity comes out at bad times like floods, power cuts, illness and death. We need always to find the hidden treasures in our own people and even in our history. The kingdom of God is close, near and is within us.
Thy Kingdom Come, Lord Jesus
Donal Neary SJ.